Campaigning For The Vote: Kate Converts Bourne End, Buckinghamshire

Kate Frye cover‘The Plat’ at Bourne End in Buckinghamshire had been the Frye family’s country house since the late 1880s.  

The Plat, Bourne End

The Plat, Bourne End

The house was right on the River and teas were served on its lawns during the annual Bourne End Regatta.

Bourne End Regatta

Bourne End Regatta

Kate’s father, Frederick Frye, had been an influential figure in the neighbourhood but by 1911 had lost control of his business and the family finances were in dire straits. In order to earn her keep Kate now took employment as a paid organiser for the New Constitutional Society for Women’s Suffrage. She spent much of the time working away from home but in the autumn of 1911 did succeed in launching the  Bourne End and District Women’s Suffrage Society.

Thursday October 19th 1911 [Bourne End: The Plat]

So hot – very foggy and dull, some rain but fortunately it didn’t keep on. Agnes and I walked up to Mrs Bleek-Leech’s at Lindenhurst  as she was most kindly having the first meeting of the Bourne End and District Women’s Suffrage Society. It was such a success – about 50 people present. Miss Dove [headmistress of Wycombe Abbey School] was going to take the Chair but in her absence Daddie did so. Mrs Cecil Chapman [president of the New Constitutional Society] came to speak. She spoke for an hour and was most stirring. Mrs Graham from Henley also somehow got there and spoke for a few minutes on the sweated workers at Reading. Mrs Smart proposed a Vote of Thanks all round. Then tea. Mrs Leech had arranged it all most beautifully and was quite charming about it. I was as busy as a bee, of course. A good bit rested on me but I was delighted at the success. Mrs Chapman must have touched her hearers’ hearts and although we only made 10 or so members. People said that they had never heard suffrage before but were so interested they promised to come on Dec 15th. Every one was pleased. We stayed last finishing up things. Then after supper accounts for the 3 Suffrage Papers and the Standard.

Bourne End and District Society

Campaigning for the Vote: Kate Parry Frye’s Suffrage Diary edited by Elizabeth Crawford


For a full description of the book click here


Wrap-around paper covers, 226 pp, over 70 illustrations, all drawn from Kate Frye’s personal archive.


ISBN 978 1903427 75 0



Copies available from Francis Boutle Publishers, or from Elizabeth Crawford –

 or from all good bookshops.



'Campaigning for the Vote' - Front and back cover of wrappers
‘Campaigning for the Vote’ – Front and back cover of wrappers



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